Mike Meyer, Author at PHOENIX magazine

Like many worthy spots in Phoenix, this urban plant boutique is hidden in a strip mall. Owned by a landscape-certified, super knowledgeable mother-son team (who also happen to be relatives of Frank Lloyd Wright), the shop blooms with leafy house plants, tidy succulents, air plants and all manner of stylish pots and garden tools.

These days, beer can art feels like an arms race, and Wren House stockpiles the best. Laura Thoeny, whose husband Preston is head brewer, designs the labels. They feature simple but lush illustrations of moons rising over purple mines, curly haired dogs, cartoonish florals, devil’s claw cacti, palo verde and dark birds against an ombré sunset, among other fanciful tableaus.

If you are looking for some culture to go with your couture, Wonderspaces offers sleek (and derivative) exhibits to art up your retail therapy trip, and it’s the perfect spot for that all-important selfie. Just check your credit limit. Admission (starting at $24 for adult admission) is more than a trip to the Phoenix Art Museum.

Sure, a lot of bars and restaurants are doing to-go cocktails during the pandemic, and they’re usually quite good. But we’re throwing our endorsement behind this Uptown gastropub, if only for the Mason jars in which they package the drinks. You get to keep ’em!

Owner Beverly Burch stocks an array of luxurious home goods at her Arcadia store as well as jewelry and apparel that’s both elegant and rustic. With her keen eye, Burch can help you pick out striped accent pillows, outfit your bed with luxurious linen sheets, select a vintage necklace or choose weathered wooden stools for your kitchen. This store contains a treasure trove of charming objects.

You’ve heard of cold-pressed juice, but have you heard of cold-processed soap? Certified aromatherapist and yoga teacher Clover Cannady uses this old-fashioned method to handcraft vegan soaps using pure essential oils and natural moisturizers. Find her soaps, bath bombs, body mists and hair and body oils at farmers markets and online.

Pre-pandemic, this local company created heirloom-quality wooden puzzles for a niche market. But mid-pandemic, with the world stuck at home baking bread and dusting off old Thomas Kinkade puzzles, Whimsy’s business skyrocketed – from shipping three puzzles on a good day to shipping nearly 40 orders daily to customers across the globe.

On 16th Street, housed in a nook within the multi-shop space of The Hive, Wasted Ink peddles some 700 zines, similar to magazines but independently published. You can freely leaf through them in the shop, under the guise of a wide-eyed octopus painted onto the back wall. Founder Charissa Lucille also sells zines through her website.

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